Monthly Archives: April 2012

“@literaryanimal: Satyagraha and The Way Forward http://t.co/GUvIPWAs” she does it again – another must-read from Sangu. #thankfulforfriends # Redeye truly was awesome! Landed a full 30 min ahead of sched and I'm off to the parking lot. http://t.co/tWTQabVp # Today: … Continue reading

"@mjhawley: Patently absurd: In US we are spending more on IP litigation than IP creation by many measures." @mikegrundy # Good morning Phoenix! http://t.co/z87xnnK5 # Yesterday we went to taliesin west. There were thes wing chairs there, I deeply covet … Continue reading

At JFK en route PHX. Longest security line I've been ever! But it includes middleaged couple in matching lemon yellow sweaters so all is ok. # JetBlue terminal at JFK, I applaud you for playing "I've got a crush on … Continue reading

I wrote a testimonial about what Cooper Union means to me. http://t.co/xlIrzatD I like it, I hope you do too! # Powered by Twitter Tools

Did I mention seeing @literaryanimal speaking at #tedx #cooperunion last night? Amazing and brilliant. http://t.co/BY6wz7q4 # "@FriendsofCooper: The Way Forward for Cooper Union: http://t.co/wYrdwNYm" @kairyssdal @neiltyson @planetmoney @Radiolab @VP @MktplaceRadio # So proud of the #cooperunion community – pls download … Continue reading

#tedx #cooperunion starting! http://t.co/2GnkBkca # Powered by Twitter Tools

y'all, it's me! “@helmetorheels: Good morning friends! NEW: Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Kari http://t.co/IRl7pxHU” thank you! # Powered by Twitter Tools

This is a post that I am throwing up quickly because I’m featured on the internets.

So, you know sometimes how you are kind of featured in an interview? on the internet? [[Like, over here at Helmet or Heels?]] And you realize that you haven’t put up much original content in the last few weeks? And on top of that your interview is read by a large community of motorcyclists, and the most recent posts in your blog are not about motorcycling?

Yeah, so when that happens, you know how sometimes you feel like you need to put up some new and original motorcycling content right away?

Yesterday I rode my motorcycle over to a new shop to get a spring tune-up. It’s kind of hilarious, because I’ve already put over 1,500 miles on the bike. it’s been a mild spring – just look at these bugs:

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It’s really hard to quit riding your motorcycle all the time for something pesky like regular service.

But this weekend we got a lovely nor’easter (thankfully no snow in our neck of the woods) and we do plan a big motorcycle trip starting in mid-May, so I thought it would be a nice to have a good shake down. The bike is at 16,500 – which, WOW, considering I got it a couple of years ago with just about 3,000 miles on it – and it needs a pretty major service. Things like checking valve clearance. So off she goes and hopefully she’ll come back happy and purring and I won’t have any problems with this new shop at all.

Mary Blade, standing at blackboard. I love love love her. http://t.co/O2xefAJX # We are having a spring nor'easter and I am suddenly even more super glad that Ben cut down our rotten tree out back. http://t.co/JXb8InYB # Powered by Twitter … Continue reading

After my couch-laying last night I fell asleep at, like, 9pm! And slept through until 515! I am finally feeling better. Aaah. # Powered by Twitter Tools

Tonight I laid on couch and read twitter while @mikegrundy fed temporary kitty grass from the yard, fed me samoas, and washed the kitchen. # Powered by Twitter Tools

woke up feeling extra crummy and with full schedule and strong desire to motorcycle to work. annoying illness. # Powered by Twitter Tools

RT @neiltyson "Venus's 900deg air would cook a 16in pepperoni pizza in 9sec & vaporize you. RunawayGreenhouse: Good for pizza. Bad for life" in reply to neiltyson # Powered by Twitter Tools

Per chili tree removal, as is traditional. http://t.co/DxkIBB8j # Teamwork! Ben and @mikegrundy http://t.co/a55SR9n0 # Powered by Twitter Tools

Fairly sure I'm the only one who watches the weather channel at the gym. # “@FriendsofCooper: 2nd-ever Community Summit! Keep Cooper Free, Keep Cooper Wild http://t.co/eePRy8KY via @FriendsofCooper” # I found a chiropractor and an acupuncturist super close to my … Continue reading

“@doorsixteen: 100% accurate. '12 Problems That Only Busty Girls Have': http://t.co/WwWegCXD (via @verhext)” YES. ugh. # Powered by Twitter Tools

Went to the gym for a run for the first time since, like, October. It was way not as bad as I was afraid it would be. #newleafturnedover # frustrated using runkeeper/dailymile. Any reviews/users of runmeter gps for the iphone? … Continue reading

Oh geez, this is Eights' west coast twinsie! http://t.co/u9p9yHTq # I think I'll go to the gym for a run tomorrow. It's either that or stop eating leftover easter candy. #adultdecisions # “RT @nonpromqueen: "NO SORRY, SANTORUM, YOU MUST CARRY … Continue reading

Remember that time I woke up at 430 AM because the wind sounded like a freight train coming up our driveway? #lastnight # Ashley Judd, I heart you and your awesome use of "feminist" and "heteronormative" http://t.co/eRp85F0H # Powered by … Continue reading

How much parenting does a steppers DO, anyway?

Y’all, it’s NICE to read about insta-families. This post from a young soon-to-be stepmom totally made my morning – you know, there are a lot of mommy blogs. There are a a lot of stepmonster blogs. But there’s not a lot of blogs of happy blended families. It’s almost like everyone buys that terrible line “you don’t know true love until you have your own baby.” As both a stepchild and a stepparent, I reject this entirely. (Is it any wonder that I read a bunch of adoptive parent blogs? I mean, they know it’s possible to love another persons biological kid.)

After I met the kids a whole 3 1/2 years ago, I still had another six months to go before moving in. At that time Mike was working at home and able to manage most of the stuff for the kids. I was dealing with regular working-outside-of-the-area issues, like how do I manage to get to a third grade recorder concert when it’s at TWELVE NOON?! We did ok. I managed to make it to important things and we made it an important ritual to eat dinner together at the table when we have the kids over. and no bathroom talk allowed while eating.

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In general, though, Mike had tried to shield me from the general parenting responsibilities for a long time – partly because he hates that dads get such a bad reputation as actual full-time PARENTS. I wonder if it was also partly that he didn’t want to put too much responsibility on me in case I didn’t want it after all. It was resolved through both discussion and necessity: we had a couple of conversations where I was insisting I wanted to help him with the boys more so we could have better times together as a family. Plus, as the kids got older and had more friends-activities to do that were sometimes in conflict,  it was natural for me to start to bring them to birthday parties, help them with homework, and take them to scouts (or staying home with the littler one on scouts nights).

Two years ago Mike’s schedule changed from working at home to working in an office two hours away from our home. I HAD to pitch in more, and he HAD to let me. We wouldn’t have been able to spend so much time with the boys otherwise. And that was what was important: that we continue to build our insta-family, and that we make sure we were supporting the boys.

The first month at Mike’s new job he got a free pass: he was a wreck! He was exhausted and his schedule was a disaster scene. It was trial by fire for me. I ended up pitching in much more than I had previously – with his new four-hour-a-day commute, I was working in my office (which is 45min away from our home), picking up dinner stuff during the day, leaving early and driving home to get the kids from after-school, making dinner, and hopefully getting it on the table by the time Mike got home after HIS dash home from work. Then in the mornings I would drop the boys off at their Mom’s house so they could catch the bus to school.

After that first month *I* was a wreck and I told Mike we had to figure this out more equally – and he started to work from home one day a week so he could wrangle the kids and the dinner half the time.

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True story: I still don’t know how to respond when people say “well, he should do that because they’re HIS kids, not yours.” Well, yes. That is totally  biologically true. But when I committed to partner up with my sweetheart I was also partnering up with his kids. If we aren’t acting as a team we aren’t getting things done the right way. If we are wasting time keeping track of who is responsible for what and letting each other get overwhelmed and overloaded, we don’t have extra time for fun and fist bumps and motorcycling and smooching.

So now the general way things work is this: I pick the boys up and work with them on dinner on half of the nights we have them. Homework is fair game for whichever grown-up is around to help. Mike reads the bedtime story, but we both tuck in and kiss. If Mike is away I read the story too – you really CAN’T miss a bedtime story. Wake-ups are also about half time. (Honestly though, Mike is preferred, because he does a really hilarious grouchy Elmo puppet-routine and I am incorrigibly cheerful in the mornings.)

Last week Mike started a new job so I managed morning wake-ups, breakfast, and off-to-schools on the two mornings they woke at our house plus pickups after school when they were coming over. We don’t know how our roles and responsibilities will shake down as he gets used to his new employer – hopefully he’ll be able to schedule a work-at-home day on the Wednesdays we’ve always got the kids, but it’s still early steps.

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The key is, though: it all kind of *works.* It works for us and it works for the kids. This weekend I went with Twelve to his scout candy sale. It wasn’t even our weekend with the kids, but their mom had a bunch of errands and Mike had volunteer fire department stuff to do, so I stood around for two hours while Twelve sold candy bars at a local sporting goods store. Then we had Taco Bell together and I dropped him off again at his mom’s. Last week Twelve and I went through a paragraph-by-paragraph revision of his paper on the Erie Canal (one of my secret areas of expertise, to his chagrin). Mike was sitting right there, but he asked me to do it because he knows one of my secret super powers is “sharing information with others in a written format.”

I’m thankful that we’re pulling together as a team, that we’re organizing our schedules and we’re making fun family time a priority over the whole “whose responsibility is it” game. I want to have a family with these two little dudes and their dad, and I’m thankful that everyone else is working with me to make this happen. Most importantly, I want these little dudes to know that I love them very much, that they are important to me, and that they can count on me to support them.